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Tuna Pasta Casserole from Scratch

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We’ve given the old-fashioned tuna noodle casserole a modern twist, with our Tuna Pasta Casserole from Scratch! It has all the creaminess and bold flavor you remember, with a bit of an elevated spin.

Pasta replaces noodles and our homemade condensed cream of mushroom soup stands in for the canned stuff you’d typically find in the classic version. That means this dish, made with whole ingredients, is extra delicious! What we haven’t updated is how easy this tuna casserole is, because some things should just be left untouched. 😉

Overhead view of a dis of tuna pasta casserole with a spoon

This tuna pasta casserole is the perfect kind of meal for family dinners and gatherings. Comforting, budget-friendly, and easy to assemble, it’s the type of dinner that will pull through to save the day! Best of all, it is made-from-scratch and with love.

An old-fashioned tuna casserole makes me reminisce of childhood- a time of casseroles galore! In my opinion, casseroles still deserve a lot of love – they are tasty, simple to make, and if you’re lucky (or especially efficient), one casserole might even leave you with dinner for days.

what’s in our tuna pasta casserole

So, what makes our tuna pasta casserole from scratch way better than the old-school kind? Our homemade condensed cream of mushroom soup! Leave the canned stuff on the store shelf and opt to go with a homemade version! It’s rich and creamy, and you can easily store it in your fridge or freezer to grab a batch when you need it. Another bonus: it’s free of preservatives or additives.

Saucepan with homemade condensed cream of mushroom soup, sitting on a red mat.

Here is the full ingredient list for this tuna pasta casserole recipe:

  • pasta shells, cooked and drained
  • olive oil
  • chopped onion
  • celery, diced
  • red bell pepper, diced
  • canned tuna
  • homemade condensed cream of mushroom soup
  • whole milk
  • frozen peas
  • Panko bread crumbs
  • Parmesan cheese, grated
  • melted butter
  • chopped parsley (for garnish)
Ingredients for tuna pasta casserole

how to make tuna pasta casserole from scratch

Ready to find out how easy it is to make this tuna pasta casserole? Not only is it creamy and flavorful with a thick, crisp crust, it’s also a cinch to make. Under half an hour of prep time and the oven does the rest! (Didn’t I tell you casseroles are great?! 😉 )

Here’s the quick and easy process:

  1. Sauté. Preheat the oven to 400°F and prep a casserole dish with oil spray. Heat a large skillet over medium heat, add the olive oil, and then sauté the onion, celery and red bell pepper for about 3-5 minutes.
  2. Mix. Mix in the tuna, condensed cream of mushroom soup, milk, and the cooked pasta. Stir the skillet mixture often. Add the frozen peas.
  3. Bake. Spoon the mixture into the casserole dish and bake for 15 minutes. Make the bread crumb topping by mixing bread crumbs, cheese and melted butter in a small dish. After the casserole bakes for 15 minutes, stir it, and then top the casserole with the bread crumb mixture. Return the oven and bake for another 10 minutes until the edges bubble and the top is golden brown.
  4. Garnish and serve. Sprinkle the chopped parsley on top and serve the tuna casserole immediately.
Overhead view of tuna pasta casserole with a side of salad

pro tips for tuna casserole

  • We traditionally use egg noodles for this casserole, but any kind of pasta will do so feel free to adapt however you like!
  • Add the peas frozen- do not defrost them. They will thaw as they cook in the casserole and they will not be over-cooked.
  • If you’d like more variety and an extra cheesy tuna casserole, grate 1 cup of cheddar cheese into the mixture before stirring in the peas.

what to serve with tuna casserole

Our tuna pasta casserole is a one-dish meal, but it also goes well with a number of sides! Here are a few of our favorites:

Close up view of a serving of tuna pasta casserole from scratch

Every bite of this tuna pasta casserole is one to savor! Loaded with meaty chunks of tuna, tender veggies, and oodles of pasta (the ultimate comfort food), this one-dish dinner is even better than the tuna casserole of your childhood! And who knows? It might even become a family dinner staple.

SOME OTHER RECIPES WE ARE SURE YOU WILL LOVE:

  • Watermelon, Feta and Mint Salad: The sweetness of the juicy watermelon, the creamy-salty feta and minty taste of this salad is so refreshing and light.  We gave each serving a squeeze of lemon and a drizzle of EV olive oil.
  • Panzanella: A classic Italian summertime salad made with bread, tomatoes, onions and basil with a simple vinaigrette dressing made with olive oil, red-wine vinegar, salt and pepper.
  • Heirloom Tomato Salad with Aged Goat Cheese: This heirloom tomato salad with aged goat cheese combines the flavors of juicy, creamy, crunchy, salty and spicy that all compliment each other deliciously. A simple vinaigrette of golden balsamic vinegar and olive oil makes the perfect dressing.

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Overhead view of a dis of tuna pasta casserole with a spoon

Tuna Pasta Casserole from Scratch

Yield: 6 Servings
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes

The old-fashioned tuna noodle casserole takes on an update as Tuna Pasta Casserole from Scratch, using shaped pasta instead of noodles. A homemade condensed cream of mushroom soup replaces the standard canned soup.

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces dry pasta, any shape, cooked and drained
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 (8-inch) stalks celery, diced
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
  • 2 (5-oz) cans tuna
  • 10.25 oz. homemade Condensed Cream of Mushroom soup
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup frozen peas (not thawed)
  • 1 cup Panko bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons butter melted
  • 3 tablespoons chopped parsley for garnish

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F and coat a 2.5 quart casserole dish with oil spray.
  2. In a large skillet set over medium heat, add the olive oil and when it is hot add the onion, celery and red bell pepper. Sauté until the onion is soft, 3-5 minutes.  
  3. Add the tuna, the mushroom soup, milk and the cooked pasta to the skillet, stirring to combine well.  
  4. Stir in the frozen peas.  
  5. Spoon the mixture into the prepared baking dish and transfer to the oven. 
  6. Bake for 15 minutes.  

Meanwhile….

  1. Mix the bread crumbs, cheese and melted butter in a small dish and when the casserole has baked for the 15 minutes, give it a stir and distribute the bread crumb mixture over the top. 
  2. Continue baking for another 10 minutes until bubbly around the edges and topping is golden brown.
  3. Serve immediately garnished with chopped parsley. 

Notes

Although egg noodles are traditionally used for this casserole, any pasta will work.

The homemade Condensed Cream of Mushroom soup is equal to one can of the store-bought variety, the bonus is that it is free of preservatives or additives. 

Add the peas frozen, they will thaw as they cook and not be over-done when the casserole is finished.

For variety, grate 1 cup of cheddar cheese to the mixture before stirring in the peas.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 322Total Fat: 16gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 28mgSodium: 838mgCarbohydrates: 32gFiber: 3gSugar: 5gProtein: 14g

Nutrition information is a guideline only, is calculated automatically by third-party software, and absolute accuracy is not guaranteed.

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angiesrecipes

Wednesday 16th of December 2020

This looks super duper delicious and comforting...a perfect meal in my dictionary.

Pat Nyswonger

Wednesday 16th of December 2020

Thanks, Angie...this tuna casserole was on the table at out house often when I was a kid.....it's still good!

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